When it comes to the world of mental health, psychology and psychiatry are two overlapping disciplines Whilst different on some levels, both therapists and psychiatrists are fully trained professionals who work with patients to improve their mental wellbeing. The main differences between these two professionals are listed below in detail.
A psychiatrist is a specialist that works with patients to prevent, diagnose, and then treat a wide range of mental disorders. They are fully qualified medical doctors that have completed 4 years at medical school and participated in a 1-year internship. From there on, they partake in special training as psychiatrists for a further 3 years (this is the minimum number of years and maybe more).
Once they have completed their training and education, they are able to accurately tell the difference between mental illness and medical conditions. They are able to monitor exactly how certain mental issues affect a patient’s physical body and vice versa. Psychiatrists are legally allowed to prescribe certain medications that are used in the treating of mental issues, such as depression and anxiety. A lot of the treatment delivered by psychiatrists is around medication management. To learn more about psychiatric medication management in Bend, Oregon, visit https://www.insightnorthwest.com/psychiatric-medication-management-bend-oregon.
In those situations where medication is not alone sufficient to treat mental illness, a psychiatrist will provide a patient with therapy or refer them to another therapist. The type of professionals that patients are most commonly referred to by a psychiatrist include marriage counselors, social workers, psychotherapists, and psychologists.
In the most general sense, a therapist will possess a master’s degree and has the knowledge and understanding to be able to treat certain mental conditions. What they are not though are medical doctors and so are not allowed to prescribe medication. The aim of a therapist is to get their patients to understand and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings so that they can make positive changes in their life.
The different types of therapists
The differences between therapists and psychiatrists are clear and defined, however, the same cannot be said for the distinction between different types of therapists. The biggest difference between therapists is in their educational background.
For example, a psychologist will have a degree in psychology and will have attended university to be educated in how to both evaluate and treat certain mental and emotional issues. After that, they partake in a 2 or even 3-year long internship whilst training in psychological theory, treatment methods, and behavioral therapy.
A fully licensed mental health counselor will possess a master’s degree in the field of either counseling or psychology. They too will have completed a minimum of 2 years of further training in order to obtain a license to practice. Similar to psychologists, a mental health counselor is able to both evaluate and treat their patient’s mental issues with therapy.
A clinical social worker is different again in that they have a master’s degree in social work.